9 Jobs that Pay You to Exercise

Black Swan
The Moscow News

Some of us live to work out in order to stay fit and fabulous and wouldn’t think twice about getting up at 5 a.m. to get a run in before heading to the office, while we’d practically skip to evening yoga classes, eager to move and sweat before going to sleep. We crave the positive feelings, the endorphins that rush through your brain, and we love being fit. Others are not so into working out and for one reason or another, avoid the gym like the plaque and are basically couch potatoes. When it comes to exercise, there’s not much of an in-between these two extremes. There are several careers that are absolutely perfect for you if you’re a gym buff and live to try the hottest new work-out. Read on to find out the top nine jobs that pay you to exercise.

See also: How You Can Workout - in the Office!

1. Gym teacher

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You may have fond memories of elementary school and high school gym classes. Maybe that was where you developed your love for basketball or your talent for soccer. On the other hand, it’s more likely that you have horrible memories of gym class and even the thought of putting on your gym uniform with the school logo is enough to make you cringe, even now, so many years or decades later. Gym teachers get paid to teach others how to run, jog, play games and sports, and they’re usually pretty fit or they wouldn’t be able to keep up with their students all day long. But you will do more than just run around all day: you will usually have to teach some health classes and might have some coaching responsibilities. In order to be well-suited to this type of teaching position, you need a degree in Phys Ed and a working knowledge of all types of sports. You’ll be standing for basically your entire day so you will definitely be the opposite of lazy if this is your job.

2. Group fitness instructor

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Group fitness classes are having a moment. From Zumba to barre to cardio dance to pilates to CrossFit, the list of classes that are offered in many major cities and towns just goes on and on. You could be teaching classes at a gym that is part of a larger chain, or you could teach at a specialty boutique place, like a barre studio that only offers those types of workouts. This is a great career choice if you’re super fit, love living a healthy lifestyle and, above all, want to work out several times a day, because guess what? You’ll be doing the moves along with your students and you coordinate the entire class. This job takes lots of coordination, a strong lung capacity, and the ability to structure an entire hour-long class while usually picking your own playlist. You’ll also sometimes make adjustments and suggestions to your students throughout the classes. This is definitely an exciting career for someone who wants to move around and doesn’t want to sit at a desk from 9-to-5 every day.

3. Yoga teacher

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A yoga teacher is a unique type of exercise-focused career because it takes a different skill set from a general fitness instructor. You have to take a yoga teacher training course that is typically 200 hours and generally, you need to have been practicing yoga on your own for several years up to the point that you begin your own journey, so that you’re 100 percent comfortable with yoga. You can find yourself running all over your town or city as teachers often teach at different studios rather than just one, in order to maximize their income. Travelling from studio to studio also counts as exercise if you’re walking and taking public transportation, so you’re getting some extra workouts in depending on your schedule.

4. Wellness coach


This job is like a personal trailer but with many added responsibilities and benefits to the client. Being a wellness coach is like a combination of being a personal trainer and a nutritionist. You’ll be a personal trainer and guide someone through a workout. Then you’ll discuss healthy eating and strategies for doing well on their path. This is a fun career that is great for someone who is into both working out and healthy food.

5. Mail carrier

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You wouldn’t typically think of this job as one where you get paid to exercise, but it turns out that postal carriers do a ton of walking on their routes. Just how much walking? A super impressive 7.5 miles each day, according to a 2007 survey. It’s safe to say that no other job requires quite that much walking.

6. Mover

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Those guys that help you move those millions of boxes of books when you move are getting some crazy amazing workouts in the process. Moving furniture and objects is definitely a form of heavy lifting and this is one job that requires its employees to be strong, extremely fit and able to be on their feet during the course of a job. A move can take anywhere from a few hours to the entire day so that’s definitely a lot of exercise. It puts our usual one-hour workouts to shame.

7. Dancer

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Dancing is perhaps the one art form that counts as exercise as well as a form of artistic expression. Dancers are in extremely good shape and are used to grueling schedules of rehearsals and performances. Many dancers even teach barre fitness classes these days, since this increasingly popular type of exercise has its origins in dance, and that’s another great way to make some money while working out. An hour-long class focusing on the hip hop style of dance can burn a tone of calories, so just imagine the calorie burn of a professional, busy, successful dancer who dances several performances a week while also rehearsing.

8. Bike courier

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This job could bank you as much as $25 an hour. It’s a nice way to see your city or town, definitely beats a boring desk job, and is perfect for those who love long bike rides on weekends or vacation or people who are obsessed with cycle fitness classes.

9. Working with kids

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Whether you work in childcare, at a daycare center or as a camp counselor in the summers, you’re getting lots of exercise running after kids, not to mention whatever games you’re playing with them. Bonus points if you play sports or a game that requires physical activity. In general, these kinds of jobs mean you’re always standing, moving around, and on the go. You won’t see childcare workers sitting around and hanging out – they’re too busy. Just spend an hour with a little kid and you’ll be absolutely amazed at how much exercise you get. As soon as they’re having fun playing, they’ve already moved on and are halfway across the room. How can such little people move so fast and take so much of your energy? It’s a mystery that many parents have yet to crack, but on the plus side, it’s an awesome workout.

If you have any of these nine jobs that pay you to work-out, consider yourself lucky. You’ve escaped the sad fate of sitting for eight hours a day, five days a week, and can get even fitter while racking up those dollars and enjoying a fulfilling, fun career.